Headlines: December 5th, 2000

The Government’s pre-emptive strike, in warning of pressures ahead for the NHS this winter, have been broadly welcomed by health professionals.The NHS Winter plan details extra capacity the NHS has achieved thanks to more money from this year’s Budget, which will provide six thousand extra nurses and 445 more critical care beds.

In making the announcement about how resources are being used to prepare, both Alan Milburn and the Prime Minister admitted that capacity shortages remained and could not be resolved quickly.

The NHS Confederation welcomed the acknowledgement from the Government that turning around winter pressures was a long-term problem. The BMA welcomed the Government’s recognition that hospital doctors were already beginning to see rises in emergency admissions and said it hoped a what appeared to be a pragmatic approach would continue, with less pressure to meet targets and deliver on statistic